Canadian Child Nutrition Statistics

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Overweight & Obesity

18.3% – Prevalence of overweight in children 6-17 years
13.1% – Prevalence of obesity in children 6-17 years
31.4% – Prevalence of overweight and obesity in children 6-17 years
Source: Rao DP et al. Child overweight and obesity trends in Canada. Health Promot Chronic Dis Prev Can. 2016; 36(9):194-198. (Data from the Canadian Health Measures Survey 2012-2013.)

13.1% – Percent of children aged 5-17 years who are obese
Source: Canadian Health Measures Survey, Statistics Canada (2014-2015)

19.8% – Prevalence of overweight in children 5-17 years
11.7% – Prevalence of obesity in children 5-17 years
31.5% (estimated 1.6 million) – Prevalence of overweight and obesity in children 5-17 years
Source: Roberts KC et al. Overweight and obesity in children and adolescents: Results from the 2009 to 2011 Canadian Health Measures Survey. Health Rep. 2012; 23(3):37-41

16.9% (343,000) – Youth 12-17 years who are overweight
6.2% (125,000) – Youth 12-17 who are obese
23.1% (468,000) – Youth who are overweight or obese
Source: Canadian Community Health Survey 2014 (self-reported height and weight)

Poverty

17% (1.2 million) – Percent of children <18 years living in low-income households*
Source: Statistics Canada, Census of Population (2016)
*Individuals are defined as having low income if the after-tax income of their household falls below half of the median adjusted household after-tax income. Adjusted household income is calculated using the income of a household divided by the square root of the household size. The median income is the amount that divides the income size distribution into two equal parts.

15.2% (1 million) – Percent of children <18 years living below low-income cut-offs, after tax*
Source: Canadian Income Survey, Statistics Canada (2015)
*Percentage of the children aged 0-17 years who live below the after tax low-income cut-offs. The concept underlying the after-tax low income measure (LIM-AT) is that all people in a household have low income if their household after-tax income falls below half of the median after-tax income.

22.2% – Child poverty rate*
Source: UNICEF Report Card 14 (2017)
*Percentage of children aged 0–17 living in a household with income lower than 60 per cent of the median, 2014. The relative child poverty rate shows the proportion of each nation’s children living in a household where disposable income is less than 60% of the national median (after taking taxes and benefits into account and adjusting for family size and composition using the OECD modified equivalence scale).

Food Insecurity

17.2% (1 million) Proportion of children (<18 years) in Canada living in food insecure households*
Source: PROOF 2014 Report
*Note: British Columbia, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador and Yukon are not included in these estimates because they opted out of food insecurity measurement in 2014.

16.5% (1.15 million) Proportion of children (<18 years) in Canada living in food insecure households*
Source: PROOF 2012 Report
*The most recent national measure that includes all provinces and territories is from 2012.

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